Episode 248 - New Book May Connect Your Ancestors To Royalty / Listener Gives Fisher New Info On His Pirate Ancestor

podcast episode Aug 19, 2018

Host Scott Fisher opens the show with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org. David begins with the tale of a harbor master from Maine whose recent DNA results have led him to close family back in Ireland. Hear what he learned about his own story. Then, it was quite a shock for entertainer Marvin Humes on Britain’s “Who Do You Think You Are!” Humes has learned that his black ancestor was a slave holder. Hear more about Marvin’s reaction to the discovery. Dr. Henry Louis Gates has given an interview to Forbes, where he reveals how his passion for family history began. David talks about his long standing friendship with Dr. Gates. Then, the guys talk about the 5,000 year old remains that have been found at Stonehenge. Whose were they and what was their role in the creation of the iconic site? David has some answers. And finally, David talks about his recent post about “your genealogical clock.” What is it and what does it mean? David will explain. David’s Blogger Spotlight shines this week on James Tanner at genealogiesStar.blogspot.com. James shares some great insight into the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 that claimed millions of lives.

Next, Fisher visits with iconic researcher Gary Boyd Roberts. His new two-part book, “The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants” may very well provide you with proven links back to kings and queens, and centuries of history. Gary’s efforts also cover some Canadian “gateway ancestors” and ties to numerous people of note.

Little did Fisher know that when he found his pirate ancestor, William Downs, of Bristol, Rhode Island, that it would spur a man researching the discovery of a 17th century coin to contact him with new information relevant to his ancestor’s life. James Bailey talks to Fisher about how his English pirate likely wound up in Rhode Island. The recently found evidence is remarkable.

Then, Tom Perry is horrified! The Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com says a key scanner is being discontinued. The good news is you may be able to get one cheap if you don’t wait. Hear the details. Fisher and Tom then talk about options for fixing old photos digitally.

That’s all this week on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show!

Transcript of Episode 248

Host: Scott Fisher with guest David Allen Lambert

Segment 1 Episode 248

Fisher: And welcome to another addition of Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here your Radio Roots Sleuth on the program where we shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall out. And do we have an interesting couple of guests for you today! Gary Boyd Roberts is on the show, a renowned genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He’s got a new two-part book out and it’s on 900, what they call “gateway ancestors” and these are people who came to America who had proven royal ancestors. And he basically can take maybe one of your lines and take you back to the kings and queens of Europe. And it’s a fascinating story and a lot of work that he’s put into this. So find out if you can trace your lines back to these kings and queens coming up here in just a little bit. Then later on in the show, I got a call this past week from this guy in Rhode Island. His name is Jim Bailey and he said, “Hey, I understand you’re a descendant from William Downs the pirate of Bristol, Rhode Island.” I said, “I am indeed.” He said, “Well, I have some new information for you on him.” And it’s a fascinating thing to make a new discovery on something 320 years later, but it appears he has done so, and we’re going to talk to Jim coming up at the back end of the show. And then Tom Perry of course is here. He’s our Preservation Authority. We’re going to talk about a really hot scanner that’s being discontinued which can be a good thing for you because you might be able to get it really, really cheap. We’ll talk about fixing your photos as well, but right now we head out to Boston, Massachusetts to talk to the “whispering genealogist.” (Whispering) As you recall last week when we talked to David Allen Lambert the Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society and AmericanAncestors.org, he could barely speak. How are you today David?

David: I can talk a lot better today, thanks very much Fish. [Laughs] The whispering genealogist, you’re a riot.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: I hope I don’t have to get that as a hashtag now, but I might put it on just for fun.

Fisher: Perfect! Well, first of all David, we’ve got FGS coming up, the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It’s going to be August 22nd through the 25th. I’m going to be speaking there, doing a workshop there. You’ve got all kinds of stuff happening as well.

David: I do. I’m going to give a luncheon and I’m going to give a couple of talks. But I’m going to be in the front row because hey, my best buddy is going to be giving a keynote at FGS. That’s a great thing.

Fisher: Yeah, I’m actually opening the first day and closing the last day, so alpha and omega. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you genis there at FGS coming up.

David: All right. Well I tell you Family Histoire News has a really interesting one, and this one goes a little north from me up here in Beantown. Kevin Babel who is a harbor master up there in Portland, Maine, he now through DNA found out his true identity. He was adopted by an Irish couple in America. His mother went to one of these baby hospitals in Ireland and he was born in Tipperary, and yeah, it was reported to his mother that he had died.

Fisher: Yeah, and then they shipped him over here. I think it’s an amazing thing what these nuns got away with back in the ‘50s and ‘40s.

David: It’s really a shame. The sad thing is his mother is dead, but he now has five half siblings who live in Wales and he’s in touch with them and plans to visit them.

Fisher: Unbelievable.

David: The next story has been through regular genealogy. You may remember “Who Do You Think You Are?” It was a television show here in the States, but it’s still active over in Britain. The performer Marvin Humes has found out that he had Jamaican ancestors, a John Williams his fourth great grandfather, but what he didn’t find out until recently, is that his ancestor was in fact a slave owner. Yes, it is actually true that occasionally you find slave owners that were black.

Fisher: Interesting. Okay and he was pretty shocked by this thing too. You can see more about it. There’s a link at ExtremeGenes.com.

David: My next story has to do with a friend of ours, Henry Louis Gates, who does “Finding Your Roots” on PBS. If you ever wondered what got Henry Louis Gates interested in genealogy, I want to direct you to the Extreme Genes website because you’ll find the whole story out there as to what got Skip Gates interested in his own roots.

Fisher: Oh, I love that. You’re on a first name nickname basis with him.

David: He’s a great guy and I had the honor to meet him back in 1995 when we had our Sasquatch Centennial for NEHGS. The interview originally was done by Forbes Magazine.

Fisher: Right, right. You can find the link for that at ExtremeGenes.com.

David: Well, I have some fresh, amazing news from the Stonehenge.

Fisher: [Laughs]

David: Well, kind of 5,000 years old news, but ten to twenty five individuals were found that had been cremated near the ancient Neolithic Monument of Stonehenge, and they’ve been able to determine from Oxford University that these remains lived originally about 100 miles west out in Wales. So, the blue stones that made Stonehenge, and the people that no doubt were the builders were actually from the same place.

Fisher: Wow! Fascinating!

David: You just never know what you’re going to find with DNA.

Fisher: That’s right.

David: There’s just so little time with genealogy and DNA that I find that I go home like, “What do I want to work on next?” So, I thought of an interesting blog, my own blog called ThePastfinder.wordpress.com and also on Twitter @DLGenealogist. So, I tossed out the idea of “What time is it on your genealogy clock?” The idea, Fish, is what happens when our time is up? What has happened to our papers? Do we have a plan? Do we have these in our archival boxes? Are we going to donate it to somebody? For me, it’s like I have a lot of hustling to do, and I have been doing this now for 14 plus years. So, do I give stuff away now? Do I start analyzing in 10 years I want to do this, in 20 years I want to have done this, and it really is a genealogy clock because we don’t want all of our research go to waste.

Fisher: That’s right. It’s ticking right now as we speak.

David: I want to shine our genealogical blogger spotlight on James Tanner who has a blog called GenealogysStar.blogspot.com and he brought up a very interesting topic which we’ve talked about on the show recently this year which is the Spanish Flu of 1918. So many thousands of people died from it.

Fisher: Millions!

David: That’s true. Millions of people died from it. Chances are you probably have an ancestor or near relatives that perished because of this.

Fisher: Yeah, I did.

David: Yeah, I did too. So check out GenealogysStar.blogsopt.com. Well, that’s all I have from Beantown this week Fish, so I’m going to sign off and we’ll see you real soon at FGS. By the way, if you’re going out to Salt Lake City, Utah, NEHGS has been doing it for over 30 years. We have a great education program in November 2018. Check out AmericanAncestors.org under our Education for that.

Fisher: All right David, thank you so much. And coming up next, it’s one of David’s mentors, the great Gary Boyd Roberts, one of the great researchers of NEHGS. And he’s got a new book out on 900 Gateway Ancestors, proven royal lines. You’re going to want to hear what he has to say, coming up in three minutes on Extreme Genes, America’s Family History Show.

Segment 2 Episode 248

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Gary Boyd Roberts

Fisher: Welcome back. It is America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth this segment is brought to you by FamilySearch.org. I got to tell you, about a weekend ago I received a couple of volumes of a brand new book. It’s called, “The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies Quebec or the United States.” There was so much material in there I spent hours on this thing. It was fascinating. And it’s been put together over many, many years by Gary Boyd Roberts. He is a Senior Research Scholar Emeritus for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. He’s on the line with me right now. How are you Gary? Good to talk to you again.

Gary: Good to be here.

Fisher: Well, you know I was just looking through this whole thing over the weekend and I’m showing my wife, I said, look at this, you come from Robert II from France because of the Deighton line that she has, and I come through the Duncanson family, and that’s a Scottish line that goes back through the Tellers of New York State. And I was looking at that and going, “Oh look at this, this goes back, first of all to Robert the Bruce, and more recently King Robert the Third of Scotland.”

Gary: And there’s a distant connection to Jackie Onassis.

Fisher: Jackie Onassis is a descendant of that as well. So she became my distant cousin as a result of that.

Gary: Yes.

Fisher: But that’s the thing I think that’s fascinating about this, it’s not the idea that “Oh, you’re of royal descent and there’s something high and mighty about it,” but what it does is it ties our families through a proven line back through history in a way that you really can’t do with a lot of other people.

Gary: And it allows you to connect yourself to hundreds of notable figures in royal history and to get a feel as to where you fit in the whole European/British/American spectrum. You see, the dozens and hundreds of notables you are distantly related to and how they fit together with themselves. And you find all these fantastic connections that you never dreamt existed.

Fisher: Yeah. I think you’re absolutely right about that. And when I think about it, we all descend from kings, let’s be real about this. We all descend from rich and poor, and kings and common people. But these are the ancestors that we can actually tie back with documentation and proven lines to these people, and that’s where it becomes really fun.

Gary: Yes. And they’re probably 500 immigrants to the American Colonies. The likelihood that we have one is very high if you have any colonial ancestry whatsoever. From New England to Virginia, the Quakers in the Mid Atlantic, enough of all of those have royal descent so that virtually anyone with a lot of colonial ancestry will be descended from kings usually by middle ages, 1300 or so.

Fisher: Um hmm. Well, isn’t there something about the most recent common ancestor for most of Europe now? They figure comes from the 1400s.

Gary: Yes. And I maintain that we’re not simply descended from Alfred the Great or William the Conqueror or Charlemagne. We have ancestors of about 1250 to 1400.

Fisher: You started on this thing, I mean like decades ago, didn’t you?

Gary: Yes. I began as a boy of about seven or eight years old fascinated with royalty and learning of my own ancestry with a story that we were descended from the Duchess of Devonshire, which we’re not. But that got me going and for forty or fifty years I have linked royalty and genealogy and made those two rather esoteric hobbies or interests into a profession in kind of a world vision.

Fisher: Yeah absolutely because you’re tying the people of the world together from all the different continents as well. I know you’ve done the ancestors for instance of the various United States Presidents and how they link together. I think you said at one time that George Bush 41 was actually related to more than half of the country.

Gary: That’s correct. He’s about a third Mid Atlantic, a third Yankee, meaning New England, and a third Southern. And you add all that together and you look at the statistics and patterns of intermarriage and expansion and it probably does equal half the American people.

Fisher: Hmm. So let me ask you then, how do you keep all this stuff in your head? Because for instance I remember running into you last year and you were hard at work on this project and you brought up the Jackie Kennedy connection to the Duncanson family. It was a new find and I was interested because it was actually one of my ancestors that she descended from. You must keep track of so many people in order to do this otherwise you’d be starting over from scratch virtually every time you pick up a pen.

Gary: And I keep in contact with several hundred scholars who are constantly making discoveries, publishing them, we exchange materials with each other, encourage each other, and it is like science and various other fields, you add to each other’s knowledge. And then what I do is accumulate it all into a compendium, and what this amounts to is a distillation of about 150 years worth of work in this area. And It is designed to let the world know the extent of America’s kingship to Britain and Europe, and the extent to which we are all to some extent distantly related and related to dozens, hundreds even, of people famous in royal history.

Fisher: Any big surprises that you came across in putting this particular book together?

Gary: Oh yes. We traced Harry Truman to an uncle of Mary Queen of Scots.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Gary: We have W.H. Auden. We have Sir John Gielgud. It goes on like that.

Fisher: Um hmm. I mean just great historical figures. And so when you run across them you read something about them and go hey wait a minute, I’m related to that person! And that’s the beauty of this whole thing. The book is called “The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States.” So you actually go into the 19th and 20th centuries with some of these.

Gary: Yes. A great many or probably half would be immigrants in there, a little less, a little more, are immigrants of the 19th and 20th century and I just mentioned a few of them. Helena Bonham Carter, the Von Trapp siblings, Wernher Von Braun, Dag Hammarskjold, Sigmund Freud, it is mentioned in the book and so is Karl Marx whose grandmother was Scottish and has all kinds of royal descents. In fact, Rob Roy and Karl Marx appear on the same page. And the Marquis de Sade appears on the same page as William Penn. Many relatives of one marry relatives of the other. One of my favorites is Fletcher Christian had a first cousin who married a granddaughter of Martha Washington.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Gary: So Gorge Washington and Fletcher Christian of “Mutiny On The Bounty” are on the same chart.     

Fisher: Oh that’s insane.

Gary: Yeah it is.

Fisher: That is absolutely nuts. That had to surprise you. I would think after all the years you have been doing this something would raise your eyebrows still to this day or why keep doing it? And that had to be one of those moments.

Gary: Yes. It is constantly renewable. You’re constantly finding all sorts of interesting new connections and most recently I traced the ancestry of Meghan Markle. I had earlier traced the ancestry of Kate Middleton and Diana. I wrote a book on Diana’s American ancestry. And Meghan Markle is one eighth New Hampshire Yankee, and has a royal descent to William Skepper.

Fisher: Okay.

Gary: And it is not at all surprising that she and her husband and seventeenth cousins. In fact, it might be a little surprising that it’s not a bit closer.

Fisher: I suppose that’s true isn’t it. How close by the way are the closest married members of the royal family? Are there any who have married like second or third cousins in recent generations? 

Gary: Yes. Charles and Diana were seventh. I believe the Queen and Prince Philip are like third. Victoria married her first cousin. You even occasionally find double first cousins marry, two brothers marry two sisters.

Fisher: Really?

Gary: And then their children marry each other. The term there is endogamy. It’s when you lose ancestors because cousins intermarry.

Fisher: Right.

Gary: So instead of having eight individuals you have six, or instead of having thirty-two ancestors in that generation you have twenty-four. And that means that ancestors intermarry.

Fisher: So once again the book is called “The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec and the United States.” And it’s fascinating stuff to go through. And if you’re into your genealogy and you know especially some of your earlier ancestors, this is going to tie you back to some fascinating historical figures.

Gary: There’s one thing I would like to mention which is the French Canadian section.

Fisher: Sure.

Gary: There are twenty two immigrants of royal French or English lines, they usually have both, that come from France to Quebec, and there are twenty three who come down here who actually didn’t work, and there are people like the great grandfather of Madonna, the grandparents of Jack Kerouac, ancestors of Beyonce, and Justin Bieber himself, Celine Dion herself.

Fisher: [Laughs]

Gary: Ryan Gosling. A whole slew of French-Canadians, major entertainers. And I put in Che Guevara to give an example of what might be done with Spanish royal lines. I know nothing about South American Caribbean genealogy but I think that probably an equivalent work to mind could be put together for Hispanic America, and hope that it might be done some time in the next fifty years or so.

Fisher: That would be a great piece of work, wouldn’t it? I mean because really descent from so many different places are coming together in the United States right now and that would be of great interest to many people. The book is available through the NEHGS bookstore at AmericanAncestors.org and I’m sure it’s also available through Amazon, yes Gary?

Gary: Yes, and from the publisher Genealogical Publishing in Baltimore. I think about half the sales so far have been through Amazon actually.

Fisher: Well, I was very appreciative to get a copy from you to go through and really was just engrossing to go through it over the weekend and find some of these amazing things and some of the amazing ancestors that are in there and a lot of names that I’m familiar with that belong to friends of mine. So I’m already sharing it with some of them going hey, did you know that you descend from King John?

Gary: [Laugh]

Fisher: Gary Boyd Roberts. He’s the Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Thanks so much Gary.

Gary: You’re quite welcome.

Fisher: Well, now we go from royalty to piracy. Yeah I’m going to talk to a man named Jim Bailey coming up next. He’s from Rhode Island and he’s found out something about my Rhode Island pirate. And if you like pirate stories he’s got a good one for you, coming up next in five minutes.                     

Segment 3 Episode 248

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Jim Bailey

Fisher: And welcome back, it’s America’s Family History Show Extreme Genes and ExtremeGenes.com. It is Fisher here, your Radio Root Sleuth. Back in January I think it was, I spoke to a woman named Gloria Merchant who wrote a book about piracy and the pirate haven of Newport, Rhode Island. And part of the reason I was doing that was that I had just discovered that one of my ancestors by the name of William Downs was apparently one of those pirates who came to seek haven there in the late 1690s. He got arrested, and then he was released because well, it was pirate haven because that’s what they did with pirates because they liked the money that was brought into the local economy in Newport. As a result of that I found quite a lot about pirates and my particular pirate. So, now here I am several months later and I get an email from this guy in Rhode Island who says, “Wait a minute, I can tell you something more about your pirate ancestor.” And since usually I’m interviewing people about their ancestors, I thought, well maybe it would be fun to have somebody come on and tell me about mine. [Laughs] And that would be Jim Bailey who recently published a great journal article about the history of a coin that he found. In fact, that was part of our interview with Gloria Merchant at the time, that there was a coin recently found in Rhode Island from the 1690s, the same era as the arch pirate Henry Avery. He was famous for the biggest pirate haul in history, in 1695 and the worldwide chase was on and all that. Jim, welcome to the show! By the way, I’m just amazed to hear from you and I’m so glad you found out about my pirate ancestor. What do you have to tell me about all this?

Jim: Thank you so much Scott. I’m happy to be here. The coin I recovered was found in Middletown, which is right near Newport. When the find was circulating that part of Middletown it was Newport at the time.

Fisher: Oh, okay.

Jim: And the coin was found at a farm in Middletown, Sweet Berry Farm.

Fisher: When did you find it, Jim?

Jim: Um, the coin was actually found in 2014, takes a while to do some research.

Fisher: Sure.

Jim: And the coin was quite intriguing. I found a number of silver coins at this colonial house site which is now just a farm field. And to my surprise the coin was covered with Arabic script.

Fisher: Wow.

Jim: It took weeks before I was able to identify the coin and I had an idea of its origin but I needed specific information on the date of the coin and where it came from and it wound up being an Arabian coin. Actually, it came from modern day Yemen and it was dated from 1693.

Fisher: That is unbelievable. So, this is basically from the era of the arch pirate Henry Avery who had several of his cast members wind up right there in the Newport area [Laughs] and what an amazing discovery that is.

Jim: Yeah, it was fascinating and it took a lot of research and fortunately I had the benefits from other people who detect. They were able to identify the coin, it’s called a Khumse and that time period was crucial for linking it to piracy that was based in the American colonies in the late 17th century.

Fisher: Yeah, you then went crazy basically with your research over Henry Avery and his crew. So people understand, this guy, once he pulled off this incredible heist, was being chased by the full power of the British Navy, William III the king at the time put out a proclamation demanding the head of Avery and named many of the pirates who were with him and one of them was my ancestor William Downs. So, they wound up in the Bahamas eight thousand miles from the scene of the crime and then from there they left and some of them went to the North American colonies, and some of them wound up back in England, and a few of them wound up getting hanged. And the question was, did they take a couple of boats back to England, one boat back to North America as these folks split up and tried to hide from the greatest power in the world? And you’ve kind of found some new information after three hundred years! Who would imagine you could put this together but you did.

Jim: Yeah! All my research is based on primary sourced documents from the period and we had a 113 men go ashore in the Bahamas and they paid off the governor Nicholas Trott to look the other way.

Fisher: Right.

Jim: And they scavenged. We had a ship go to Delaware. We had another ship go to Fishers Island off the coast between Connecticut and New York. But we had two ships carrying 24 pirates that headed for Ireland. When you pull off a robbery the size of the Gunsway you don’t just sail up the Thames and drop anchor and say, “We’re home.”

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Jim: They had to get back to England quietly. So, they made plans to be dropped off in Ireland and what was strange to me is that Henry Avery who was the captain, he was the most wanted man on the face of the earth. He was late getting to Ireland, there were two ships that left, the Isaac and the Sea Flower. He was aboard the Sea Flower and he arrives two weeks late behind Isaac. He should have been the first to get off the island to leave the Bahamas, I couldn’t understand why.

Fisher: Right.

Jim: Then, I found my answer. When Henry Avery arrived in the Bahamas he also had a cargo of slaves, approximately 47 slaves. And that was so that they could pose as slave traders. They were trying to avoid detection so they posed as interloping slave traders and it worked in the Bahamas. I found out that between Avery’s arrival in the Bahamas in April, and his arrival in Ireland in June, another ship, the same ship, the Sea Flower arrives in Newport, Rhode Island on May 30th 1696.

Fisher: That’s crazy. So, basically Avery went and hung out with his peeps. Some of them got off in Rhode Island, obviously among them is my William Downs and then they resupplied and got new crew people to try to bring the ship back once they went over to the UK and then off Avery went to whatever his destiny was because it’s still kind of a mystery but he did get to Ireland we know that. But you’re saying it’s the same ship, the Sea Flower.

Jim: Exactly. A lot of the modern history show, Avery departing from the Bahamas and going straight to England where he disappears from the pages of history. All my research indicates that he first went to Rhode Island for a couple of reasons. He had hired one of the captains he had sailed within the Red Sea, basically being his wheel man. You rob a bank. You need a driver for the car. [Laughs]

Fisher: Right, right. So, this is Joseph Faro, right?

Jim: Exactly. This was the captain of the ship called the Portsmith Adventure. He hired out Joseph Faro and four men, to make arrangements they left Nassau, went to Newport, Rhode Island, there they could get rid of the cargo of slaves. When they arrived in the Bahamas, the Bahamas did not have a slave plantation economy. They had to do something with the slaves. The governor of the Bahamas didn’t want them because that was evidence of Avery’s men having arrived in the Bahamas.

Fisher: Hmm.

Jim: So, he took the slaves and sold them in Newport and the interesting this was, they said in the records that the slaves that weren’t sold at Newport, most of the slaves weren’t sold, they were sent to Boston but they weren’t put back aboard the ship and sailed to Boston’s home port of the Sea Flower supposedly. And instead the slaves were walked over land to Boston which made no sense. Why wouldn’t the Sea Flower pack up the slaves and return to its home port? Because the ship had been bought out by Henry Avery and his crew to sail to Ireland.

Fisher: That’s crazy. And one other thing you found that I thought was really interesting was that the Sea Flower was actually owned by a seafaring fellow from Bristol which is now part of Rhode Island. It was part of Massachusetts Bay colony at the time and Bristol is where my ancestor wound up.

Jim: Yes, we found the Sea Flower again in historical records showing up in probate for a captain, a master of the Sea Flower and again, he was a quarter owner of the vessel and he lived with your guy in Bristol.

Fisher: And that’s a small town. That’s really interesting. [Laughs]

Jim: That’s a very small town. So, they stayed close to Newport but not too close and just layed low in Bristol.

Fisher: Look at this, I mean it’s 320 some-odd years since all this happened and here’s somebody out finding new material about this incredible pirate story from Newport, Rhode Island. Jim Bailey, thank you so much for coming on and sharing this. I look forward to hearing some of your new adventures down the line.

Jim: Great Scott! Thanks so much. I enjoyed speaking with you.

Fisher: And on the way next of course we talk preservation with Tom Perry our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com when we return in three minutes on Extreme Genes.

Segment 4 Episode 248

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: It is time to talk preservation on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Fisher here, your Radio Roots Sleuth, and this segment is brought to you by Legacy Tree Genealogists. And we've got Tom Perry on the line. He is our Preservation Authority from TMCPlace.com. How're you doing, Tom?

Tom: Super!

Fisher: I'm hearing there's some rumor out there about scanners from Kodak being discontinued, what is that about?

Tom: Oh, it’s a sad day in scanning technology! The Kodak PS80, which is such an incredible scanner. If any of you have ever called EZ Photo Scan and rented a scanner for your family reunions or whatever, this is that scanner. It is absolutely one of the best scanners ever made. Its quick, it does incredible scans, it will scan both sides of the photo at the same time if you have like notes written on the back, they're really incredible. But I just got an email from Kodak saying that they were discontinuing it, so I called Rick over at EZ Photo Scan to find out what's up, and he told me, "Yeah, it’s true. They're discontinuing it." However, he has about a dozen left that he's selling and so if somebody's thinking, "Hey, this is something I want for Christmas, you need to buy Christmas right now.

Fisher: Yeah. [Laughs]

Tom: Because they will be gone really quick.

Fisher: Now what is the price range for these things generally, Tom?

Tom: You know, they're not really bad at all. In fact, everything is relative. You can buy the basic scanner, which is $1300 or you can buy the really nice one which is $1600. And basically what you're getting for the other $300 is one of the coolest features I've ever seen. And it’s totally worth the $300. If you've got a big photo album, like we've talked about before that have those sticky pages, the pictures are stuck in them and you can't get them out.

Fisher: The magnetic jobs from the '70s, right? There's nothing magnetic about them, they're just trash! [Laughs]

Tom: Exactly. You can take those and put them on a flatbed scanner, and with this software that's a $300 addition, it will go and separate each one of those photos or if somebody has given you like a photo print or a collage of photos, same thing. You send it through the photo scanner and it will go through and separate every photo to its own file. So you have the fully scanned file with everything, then you have individual files of all the pictures too. And if the corners overlay each other, it will let you go in and kind of adjust or crop it and save so much time. And it’s just an incredible. And you know, if you can just afford the other one you know, get it. Buy it now because it’s going to be gone. If you can do the other $300, it will be one of the best investments you've ever made.

Fisher: Boy when you consider right now is family reunion time, and you're right, the holidays are coming right up. And this is something that can be used for years and years and years for family gatherings and getting big groups of cousins together to share their pictures. And if they could kick in, you know, if you could get people to share in the cost, I mean, this would be a great way to go, and as you've mentioned many times before, Tom, that if something like this came up that's pretty high end, then you can use it and then put it on eBay and sell it and save yourself a fortune.

Tom: Oh absolutely, especially something like this that has been discontinued. You've got something that's going to last forever. Because I guarantee that in the lifetime of this, over the next ten years, you're not going to make as many scans as we do in a month. And this is really a workhorse. It’s the one we take on the road when we do photo scanning parties across the nation and around the globe. This is the machine we use and it’s just absolutely awesome! And then if you want to get a flatbed scanner later on for some reason has not been discontinued, you can always buy of those and add it on. So right now, buy this scanner if you're thinking of Christmas. And it will probably be worth more money in a year from now than it is right now, because you can't buy them anymore.

Fisher: Yeah, you might be right. Didn't you say something about a bed being like 34 inches long in this thing?

Tom: Well yeah. On the hand scanner, the one that you're getting for the $1600 or a $1300, you can actually scan anything 8 1/2 inches x 34 inches long. So if you have those old fashion genealogy sheets that aunt Martha did that are, you know, 2 feet long, its fine. You send that through as one scan and it will scan it as one piece.

Fisher: That is incredible. How come Kodak's discontinuing this?

Tom: You know, there's been a lot of problems with Kodak. They really got into the copy business at the wrong time, that stayed in film too long and they've had a lot of problems. So they're just thinking they're not making enough money on it, so they're going to stop doing it. Just like Cinematize.

Fisher: Hey, let's talk about restoring faded photographs, coming up when we return, Tom, in about three minutes on Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show.

Segment 5 Episode 248

Host: Scott Fisher with guest Tom Perry

Fisher: All right, back at it with Extreme Genes, America's Family History Show and ExtremeGenes.com. Talking preservation with Tom Perry from TMCPlace.com, this segment brought to you by FamilySearch.org. And Tom, I was noticing this the other day and I had some friends over and I was showing them, you know, how you repair some photographs. And I had some really faded ones, I mean, really, really faded, you could hardly see anything in it. And they went back to the 1950s, and some of them were, you know, those old color ones where the color's just about faded away because the chemicals from those days were just not what they are today. And so, I would go the full length of contrast for instance with Photoshop Elements, and that's all I ever use. I don't even know what full Photoshop can do, but I don't feel like I need anything more than this. But it brought it back somewhat. And then I saved it and reset it again and gave full contrast and adjusted the light and darkness again. And it started looking better. And by the third time, I had a full blown beautiful photograph where you could see all the detail with the color all adjusted, and I'm thinking, what a great way to go and how simple it is!

Tom: In fact, when I teach scanning class, you can take this photo, and I think the people that are most blown away are the ones that find out how easy it is to do.

Fisher: Yeah! [Laughs]

Tom: "This is not a hard thing to do, it’s easy!"

Fisher: And its fun! That's the thing I like about it. Because you know, I'll see pictures online, people post stuff all the time on MyHeritage, on Ancestry, on FindMyPast, and the photos haven't been touched at all. They're crooked, they have a bent corner, they're very faded, they have marks all over, and I'm thinking, "Let me copy that. Let me fix that!"

Tom: [Laughs]

Fisher: And I've actually done that where I've fixed the picture. It’s taken me all of three minutes and its fantastic now. And then I email it to the person and they're like, "Oh my gosh! Look what you've done! You've made it fantastic!" They must have thought I spent two hours on it or something. And then they post that one and it’s like, that's much better. But you know, when you think about how simple it is with, say, Photoshop Elements, and I was just looking online to see how much it costs right now. It’s like $71 and there's a Mac version of it for like $59. You know, are you kidding me!? And it lasts for years and years and years. And you can do all these adjustments. It’s got the healing wand and it’s got the cloning device on there. I mean, there's so much that you can do to improve your pictures and it’s so stupid easy and so stupid cheap. I just don't understand why more people don't do that, especially with their favorite pictures. In fact, we have people bringing in photos to us and they always want them restored. And you bring a couple of pictures in you're already at what the software costs. And the thing is, like we mentioned, it’s not hard to do. In fact, there's actually an auto contrast, all these different things, you go in and auto it. And if that doesn't do a good enough job for you, then you go and retouch them more. But even the auto, it’s amazing what it does. And like you say, it takes a minute, two minutes, maybe even three minutes to go in and do these things, and its actually fun.

Fisher: Yeah. All you have to do scan it, go through and do your thing. And you didn't mention also, there's an auto sharpen on Elements, and I'm sure it’s on Photoshop as well. And so, if your picture is just a little out of focus, you can bring it right back into focus. Maybe it takes one auto sharpen push of the button, maybe it takes two or three, but you can really make quite an adjustment there, and you can do it manually, too to whatever degree, because it does start to get a little weird if you go too far, but it’s a great tool.

Tom: And there are always undos. And we always tell people, "Always make sure you have all your photos, you put them in a folder, burn them to a disk or put them in the cloud, and then always do your editing on another one. You want to always make sure you always set your originals aside."

Fisher: So many great tools out there. Of course what we were talking about a few minutes ago is Photoshop Elements. It’s easy to find and easy to use. Tom, great chatting with you again and we'll catch up with you next week.

Tom: My pleasure.

Fisher: Well, we have covered a lot of ground today, from Canadian celebrities to royals to pirates. And by the way, if you want to connect to any of the resources we talked about in the show today, just to our website, ExtremeGenes.com. And if you missed any of it, of course you want to catch the podcast, it’s on iTunes, iHeart Radio, Stitcher and of course ExtremeGenes.com. Hey don't forget to sign up for our Weekly Genie Newsletter, its available for free, do it through ExtremeGenes.com or our Facebook page. We give you great blogs and links to stories you're going to be interested in, become part of our Extreme Genes community and it costs you nothing! Talk to you again next week. Thanks so much for joining us. And remember, as far as everyone knows, we're a nice, normal family!

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